The EB-5 visa program has been renewed without reform until after the midterm elections.
For now, the minimum investment requirement for the EB-5 visa Regional Center Program will remain $500,000 until the sunset date on December 7, 2018.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program was renewed as part of the spending bill that President Trump signed on Friday.
The program may see reform as early as next year, however, it will likely be through USCIS rather than through Congress. Congress has so far ignored the program, renewing it as-is due to more pressing priorities like the Supreme Court nomination, immigration issues and tax reform.
Next year, USCIS may issue regulations that address the EB-5 Regional Center Program’s minimum investment amount, targeted employment area requirements, and investor eligibility.
While the Regional Center Program is constantly facing uncertainty, the EB-5 Direct Program is permanent. Foreign entrepreneurs can invest $1 million or $500,000 (in a targeted employment area) in a job creating enterprise to qualify for the Direct Program. The difference between the Direct Program and the Regional Center Program is that an investor in the Direct Program must take an active role in their business project, whereas, with a Regional Center project an investor can simply be a policy-maker.
Why apply early if the program has been renewed for two more months?
It’s always a smart idea to apply early to the EB-5 Regional Center Program for two main reasons. Applying early can lock in your spot if your country is currently facing retrogression or may face retrogression in the near future. Additionally, USCIS, may at any time, decide to address controversial program problems and issue regulations that change eligibility requirements or increase the minimum investment amount. The minimum investment amount has not increased since the program’s inception in 1990, not even to adjust for inflation.
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